By Chuks Okocha
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhahi Bamanga Tukur, and state governors elected on the platform of the party are currently locked in a battle of wits over the position of the party concerning the dissolved Adamawa State chapter of the party.
Despite the battle of wits, the party has also maintained that it will not re-admit into its fold some categories of people, whom it refers as ‘snakes and reptiles’, going by its ongoing reconciliation agenda.
The battle of wits between Tukur and the PDP governors was alleged to have taken a new dimension, following the dissolution of the Adamawa State executive, which the state governors were said to be demanding for its reversal.
The rivalry between the PDP governors and their national chairman started three weeks ago, when the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metu, announced the sack of the Adamawa State executive committee.
He had cited Article 31(2) (e) of the amended PDP constitution, which states that the NWC can, “where necessary, dissolve a State Executive Committee and appoint a caretaker committee to run the party until another Executive Committee is elected, provided that the period from the dissolution to the election of the new Executive shall not to exceed three months.”
Metu said the state committee, which was alleged to be loyal to the state governor, Murtala Nyako, disregarded the advice and went ahead to hold primaries ahead of the local government area poll.
The NWC set up a caretaker committee headed by Ambassador Umar Damagun, from Yobe State, to manage the affairs of the party in the state till a new executive is elected.
In response, Nyako was said to have gone to the NWC to apologise for the action of the Adamawa State chapter.
But the apology, it was gathered, did not douse the tensions, as the party in the state went to court to challenge the decision of NWC.
However, the court in an interim injunction ruled for a return to status quo and restrained the NWC from taking further action on the matter pending the determination of the substantive issue.
It was at this point that the PDP governors, led by the chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and governor of Rivers State, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, joined the fray.
But, it was the Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido, who had first met with Tukur to impress on him the need to reverse the sack of the Adamawa PDP executive. However, that effort did not yield fruit.
Amaechi, who met with Tukur last Tuesday in Abuja, for several hours on the same issue, was also said to have failed to convince the PDP national chairman concerning the reversal of the dismissed executive.
Following this, the PDP governors were said to have held an emergency meeting concerning the issue in the early hours of Thursday last week, after the NGF meeting had that started Wednesday night.
At the meeting, Amaechi was said to have briefed his colleagues on his efforts to ensure the reversal of the sack of the Adamawa State executive.
The NGF chairman, after the meeting with the PDP national chairman, was said to have sent a delegation led by the Bauchi State governor, Malam Isa Yuguda, to meet with Tukur to try to convince him to rescind the sack order. But Tukur was said to have stuck to his guns.
A source within the PDP leadership told THISDAY that, “The National Chairman is insisting that before the decision is reversed that the court case instituted against the NWC must be withdrawn, as it was a question of indiscipline for the sacked executive to take the executive committee to court.”
The source said Nyako was also insisting that the NWC withdraw the dissolution first, stressing that he can no longer trust the actions of the NWC in the matter.
It was gathered that some members of the NWC were also mounting pressure on Tukur to ensure a withdrawal of the dissolution of the Adamawa State executive order.
At the meeting of the NWC last Thursday on the matter, THISDAY gathered that the PDP National Organising Secretary, Mustapha Mohammed, was alleged to have gone on his knees begging Tukur for the reversal of the sack of the Adamawa executive.
But, Tukur insisted that the court case instituted by the sacked executive must be withdrawn as a first condition.
THISDAY gathered that the PDP governors were at the weekend pressing for an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) to resolve the matter. Already, Metu had disclosed that there was the possibility of a NEC meeting.
He said: “We will have a NEC meeting this month,” but he did not state the agenda for the meeting.
It was gathered that the court in Adamawa State will give judgement Tuesday on whether the planned local government election in the state would hold or not. The state government is challenging the right of the NWC to question the power of the PDP state executive committee to submit the names of candidates for the election to the Adamawa State Independent Electoral Commission without the intervention of the national secretariat of the party.
“If the court rules against the party, then the action of the NWC will become a nullity, as the state electoral commission will accept the list of candidates submitted to it by the sacked executive,” the PDP source affirmed.
Meanwhile, the National Legal Adviser of the party, Mr. Victor Kwon, while fielding question with journalists on efforts made so far concerning the reconciliation agenda, said: “This party is a large party and capable of accommodating everybody. Just because you want to accommodate everybody does not mean you accommodate snakes and reptiles.
“It will interest you to know and I said this very seriously and I wish you will also be fair to me that shortly before the last senatorial election the party in Plateau State opened its doors to a lots of its own members that have left, including the likes of the former Minister of Sport, Hon. Damishi Sango. Many of these people have been admitted, but of course the question now is that you admit people, but you have to be careful who you readmit because there are people who want to come in not to build the party but to destroy the party.”
“You admit people, but you have to been cautions of those you admit, you take in people who will build, who will solidify the party, who have the genuine interest of the party and the nation at heart and not just people who would want to come into the party to weaken the party or to cause challenges or disrupt the party,” he said.
On the decision of the party’s leadership to use consultants to collect monies due to the party, he said: “Payment of dues are veritable mean of revenue for the party and as we all know members of the party do subscribe but we are not satisfy with the level at which our dues are being collected. The party is taking steps to ensure that we enhance the revenue coming to the party.”